Is it my imagination or are chain letters falling by the wayside? I don’t mean the email meme kind that you need to send to 25 POWERFUL SPIRITS IN YOUR LIFE IN THE NEXT 15 MINUTES AND SOMETHING WONDERFUL WILL MANIFEST FOR YOU… those have a scary zombie life all their own and will quite possibly never die. I’m thinking of the benign kind, the ones that prey on our best and worst natures at the same time—because you will follow up and send the letter off to 10 friends who won’t screw it up; you will send a recipe/paperback book/dishtowel/artist’s trading card out to the first person on the list. You will. Except you don’t, and feel vaguely guilty for not having followed up on something you really didn’t want to do in the first place. And you only ever get one or two recipes/paperback books/dishtowels/artist’s trading cards anyway, because all over the world your friends and your friends’ friends are lying in bed feeling vaguely guilty that they didn’t follow up either. Really, the chain letter cannot die a speedy enough death.
Except for this one. (You did know that was coming, right?)
Big thanks to the NewPages Blog for alerting us to the August 2010 Postcard Poetry Project, now open for registration. This one actually takes more effort and thought than sending your zucchini bread recipe to your best friend’s aunt, but the return should be really something:
Get yourself at least 31 postcards. These can be found at book stores, thrift shops, online, drug stores, antique shops, museums, gift shops. (You’ll be amazed at how quickly you become a postcard addict.)
On or about July 27th, write an original poem right on a postcard and mail it to the person on the list below your name. (If you are at the very bottom, send a card to the name at the top.) And please WRITE LEGIBLY!
Starting on August 1st, ideally in response to a card YOU receive, keep writing a poem a day on a postcard and mailing it to successive folks on the list until you’ve sent out 31 postcards. Of course you can keep going and send as many as you like but we ask you to commit to at least 31 (a month’s worth).
Best of all, you don’t have to tap into your own friend pool and suffer the attendant worry about whether your favorite people also happen to dependable. No moral judgments are necessary, because the Postcard Poetry people are making the list. Just register, log in, and you’re set to write poetry to a total stranger—what could be more wonderful?
Anybody in? I’m already a postcard addict, so I suppose I have no excuse not to. Stay tuned.